Tart cherries, also known as Montmorency cherries or sour cherries, are a type of cherry that has a sour or tart flavor. They have long been used as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions, and are a popular supplement that is often used for its potential health benefits. These small, red fruits are packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that may help to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and even boost exercise performance.
The history of tart cherries as a supplement dates back to ancient times, when the Greeks and Romans used the fruit to treat a variety of ailments. In more recent history, tart cherries have been used as a folk remedy for gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. In recent years, scientific research has begun to uncover the potential health benefits of tart cherries, including their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
One of the key compounds found in tart cherries is anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that can help to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. These compounds may also help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is thought to be a contributing factor in a wide range of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
Another compound found in tart cherries is melatonin, a hormone that plays a key role in regulating sleep. Some research suggests that consuming tart cherry juice or supplements may help to improve sleep quality and duration, particularly in people with insomnia. Tart cherry juice is also found to be beneficial for people who are suffering from joint pain and muscle soreness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Tart cherries are also being studied for their potential benefits for exercise performance. Some research suggests that consuming tart cherry juice or supplements may help to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue after intense exercise, which could help to improve overall performance.
Tart cherries, also known as Montmorency cherries, are generally considered safe when consumed in normal food amounts. However, as with any supplement, there is the potential for side effects. Here are some potential side effects of tart cherry supplements:
- Digestive problems: Tart cherry supplements may cause digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some people.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to tart cherries or to ingredients in tart cherry supplements. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
- Interactions with medications: Tart cherry supplements may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, medications that reduce blood pressure, and medications that affect the immune system. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking tart cherry supplements if you are taking any medications.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It is not known whether tart cherry supplements are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is best to avoid taking any supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding unless specifically recommended by a healthcare provider.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking tart cherry supplements, it is important to stop taking them and speak with a healthcare provider.
Tart cherries are a popular supplement that has been used for centuries due to its potential health benefits. The fruit is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and melatonin which can help to improve sleep quality and reduce muscle soreness. However, it’s important to keep in mind that tart cherries can cause side effects in some people. It is always recommended to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.